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J1 visa
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Au pair USA-J1 visa

The Exchange Visitor (J) non-immigrant visa category is for individuals approved to participate in work-and study-based  exchange visitor programs. A J-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa issued by the United States to exchange visitors participating in programs that promote cultural exchange, especially to obtain medical or business training within the U.S. Participants are integral to the success of the program. Here you can learn more about obtaining the J-1 Visa and other relevant visas. The wait time for an interview and processing for a J-1 Visa varies from country to country and is based on your individual circumstances. Once you obtain a Form DS-2019 from a Sponsor, you may apply for an exchange visitor J-1 visa at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate in your country of residence.


Precautions 

You may not arrive more than 30 days before the program start date shown on your DS-2019. Upon completion of your exchange program, you have a grace period of 30 days to depart the United States.If your visa has expired and you do not plan to travel outside of the U.S., you do not need to renew the visa. Please be aware that if you travel outside of the United States during your current exchange visitor program and after your J-1 visa has expired, you must apply for a new J-1 visa in your home country in order to re-enter the United States to continue your program.The United States introduced the J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa Program under the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act (Fulbright–Hays Act of 1961). The J-1 visa is administered by the U.S. Information Agency (USIA) to strengthen relations between the US and other countries. It fell under the purview of the USIA and not the Immigration and Naturalization Service because its main purpose is to disseminate information.

its goal is to give people training and experience in the U.S. that they can use to benefit their home countries. These  exchanges have assisted the Department of State in furthering the foreign policy objectives of the United States.



The J-1 Program

The J-1 Program started by bringing scholars into the United States temporarily for a specific educational objective, such as teaching and conducting research. It then extended to several other Exchange Visitor Programs that shared the same objective, like the au pair, Government Visitor, Professor and Research or Short-Term Scholar, Work and Travel USA and the Trainee Programs. 

All applicants must meet eligibility criteria and be sponsored either by a private sector or government program. J-1 visitors may remain in the United States until the end of their exchange program, as specified on form DS-2019.  Once a J-1 visitor's program ends, he or she may remain in the United States for an additional 30 days, often referred to as a "grace period", in order to prepare for departure from the country.The actual J-1 visa certificate does not specifically document this 30-day post-study/exam "grace period", and consequently some airline counter staff have refused to issue a boarding pass to an embarking student. In particular, when the student's return ticket is departing after the J-1 visa has expired.

For example: the return date is the next day after the students last exam. If the visitor leaves the United States during these 30 days, the visitor may not re-enter with the J-1 visa. Many persons in the United States on J-1 visa are subject to the two-year home residency requirement found in Section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Under the Section 212(e), before a person on a J-1 visa with the two-year home residency requirement can change to nonimmigrant status (H-1B or L1, for example), or adjust to U.S. permanent resident status, the J-1 person must either return to the country of last residence for two years or obtain a waiver of the two-year home residency requirement.Upon their departure from the United States, many J-1 visa holders are required to complete a mandatory two-year home-country physical presence prior to re-entry into the United States under dual intent visas. This applies for those whose exchange program was funded by either their government or the  U.S. government, involves specialized knowledge or skills deemed necessary by their home country or if they received graduate medical training.The two-year stay can be served in several intervals. J-1 visa sponsors are required to monitor the progress and welfare of their participants. The J-1 visa sponsors should ensure that the participants' activities are consistent with the program category identified on the participants' Form DS-2019. Sponsors are also to require their participants to provide current contact (address and telephone number) information and to maintain this information in their files.

All exchange visitor applicants must have a SEVIS generated DS-2019 issued by a DOS designated sponsor, which they submit when they are applying for their exchange visitor visa. The consular officer verifies the DS-2019 record electronically through the SEVIS system in order to process your exchange visitor visa application to conclusion. Unless otherwise exempt, exchange visitor applicants must pay a SEVIS I-901 Fee to DHS for each individual program.



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